Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Hits (Recent Popular Posts)


Given their milk-fed charms, perhaps it was inevitable that UCW would square Axel and Johnny Deep off against each other for Johnny's second outing--and pitting them against each other in the middle of an Easter egg hunt was pure genius. Nobody else does holiday specials this cloyingly cute and dreamy and yet so brutal and kinky--it's almost as if Robert Mapplethorpe had taken over Rankin/Bass.

The pair are hunting for tinted eggs stuffed with cash (could that be any more adorable?), but when Axel catches Johnny snatching the high-dollar eggs out of his basket, the battle begins. And it wouldn't be UCW if eggs and (ahem) baskets did not turn into a running theme throughout the 33-minute fight.  Nutsacks get a vicious bruising, and neither wrestler is shy about crossing that line.

For all their dewy, dimpled charm, Axel and Johnny are fighters to the core, and if their bashful aw-shucks smiles are disarming, all the better for flattening an opponent on the mat for some stiff punishment. For fans of UCW, no further description is needed. The company has a gift for infusing apparently innocuous situations with all kinds of menace and mayhem. "Gidget Goes S&M," as I often like to think of it.

Check out that solid bread-basket on Axel in the bottom picture--and Johnny's heavenly ass (my!) and then take in the full lips and Pepsodent smiles on those kissers. Who would not want to awaken this blissful Sunday morning to find these two, friskily bouncing on one's mattress? Now imagine these two cupcakes duking it out, heaping humiliation on humiliation on each other until one of them at last chokes the other out with the balsa-wood handle of an Easter basket!

For me, Easter was always the least edgy holiday of the year. But after watching UCW's latest release, I feel the need to pounce on something prettily rainbow-colored and punch the sweet creme filling out of it ... like, this very minute! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Giant Slayer

Just released on DVD, The Three Stages of Jonny is BG East's tribute to its "resident badass" Jonny Firestorm in a trio of matches representing key turning points in Jonny's career. The middle sequence appeared early on The Arena at BG East Wrestling, BGE's subscription site. It features Firestorm, already in full possession of his heel status (with hairy chest and who-gives-a-fuck gut to match), going up against Paladin, who outweighs Jonny by 65 pounds and looms 13 inches over him.

Originally a masked wrestler, Paladin was unmasked in his debut match (Masked Mayhem 5) by Joe Robbins. Whether it was this humiliation or "creative differences" that sent this towering indy pro skedaddling, I have no idea, but I haven't seen him since. The tall, lithe, squinty-eyed rookie exudes hotness, though he also gives off an air of haughty contempt and smug intolerance. On all counts, I'm glad to see him back in the ring to get his ass handed to him once more.

To say the obvious, it seems very improbable that Firestorm, at a point in his life when he seldom darkened the doorway to a gym, would be capable of besting a bigger wrestler, who besides having pro ring experience is also "younger, faster, and in better condition" (as Paladin disdainfully points out). Fans disagree, of course, but I've always felt that Jonny played the David-and-Goliath gimmick with total conviction. It's a measure of how strongly I admire him as a wrestler that I'm pretty sure I'd believe he could beat up six-foot-sixers like Paladin in the real world and on the block where I live just as easily as he does in the squared circle.

This is a sexy match. Paladin is sexy. Watching Jonny ream him is sexy. Figuratively speaking, of course. The actual visuals don't extend past some low blows to the nards, which remain chastely ensconced in spandex for the duration of the fight. But even the sight of Jonny sinking his legendary anaconda into Paladin's fish-belly white butt would offer only a slightly bigger thrill for me--for whom wrestling is fucking--than what we get in this contest. This is jerk-off material. This is good wrestling.

We get three rounds, plus some. Jonny has so much fun whittling the giant down to size that he can't stop whittling when the match has reached its official limit. The bigger, the harder, as the saying goes, but I have grossly understated the amount of resistance Paladin offers against his ultimate humiliation. It's give-and-take action all the way through, with Jonny rebounding in the most unexpected ways. And you can't help but feel a little sorry for Paladin, big, dumb, and beautiful as he is, when he's forced not just to submit, but to count himself out!

The other two matches on this release render a fuller picture of Jonny's career at BG East. This is classic Jonny Firestorm, which right there says plenty ... unmissable for his fans, and tucked away in the BGE vault for far too long.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Reid Flair, 1988-2013

Jesuses I Would Like to Wrestle

The one spiritual tenet artists and filmmakers appear to agree on is that Jesus of Nazareth was a stud muffin. Some portray him as a wispy emo type, others as a beaming Texas quarterback, others as a reggae wild man, but nobody depicts Jesus as a (historically more probable) 5'3", 140-pound Galilean with an incomplete set of teeth. Growing up a fundamentalist bible believer, I got to see plenty of pictures of Jesus in our illustrated family bible, Sunday school literature, and flannelgraph cutouts. And while it was always the skinhead Samson's body that stirred my pre-pubescent juices, it was Jesus's face I wanted to see on a boyfriend. Even now he or rather the dreamily romantic depictions of him are a fundamental imprint upon "my type." Nearly every boyfriend I've had or trick I've laid has looked like he was on callbacks for The Greatest Story Ever Told.

For reasons that will be obvious to regular readers of this blog, I prefer the modern sporty version of Jesus to the gaunt Gothic scarecrow of medieval ecclesiastical art. The all-important question is whether he wrestled. I figure that, laboring as a carpenter, he would have had a strong back, thick forearms, and dense. hairy thighs--a pretty good contender on the mats or in the ring. I figure him for a bit of a rowdy roughneck, too, especially because he tossed the moneychangers out of the temple. And of course he could definitely suffer--oh my, how he could suffer!

So here, in the spirit of the season, is my list of virtual messiahs I most would like to square off against in the squared circle. Whether by cross press or crucifix, the finish will be a surefire wrestlerection.

"Speedo Jesus," as personified by Thom Hoffman in the 1983 Dutch film The 4th Man, was the first movie Jesus that sped me home to jerk off as soon as the closing credits rolled. This was the year after I outed myself to my parents and non-gay friends (as well as no longer identifying myself as a bible believer). He and this particular shot are the main reasons the film has remained in my personal video collection, first on VHS, then on DVD, and, God willing, one day soon on Blu Ray.

The most Jesus-y of all the classic Ring of Honor stars, Tyler Black, like Kevin Von Erich, suffered agonizingly for 90 percent of his matches, only to rise triumphantly and miraculously at the end. But unlike Von Erich, Tyler had the beard and bronze complexion to make the suffering redeemer archetype really work. Had he stayed true to type, today he would be the perfect opponent for the increasingly satanic Tommaso Ciampa.

Paul Hipp played Jesus in Harvey Keitel's vision--or hallucination--in 1992's Bad Lieutenant. His appearance is blink-or-you'll-miss-it short. Fortunately for me, however, at the time I saw this movie I had a boyfriend with a beard and the eyes of an Irish saint, who also liked to wrestle. The film was Abel Ferrara's heavy-handed take on the struggle of Good and Evil in modern New York City, involving a drug-addled cop on the hunt for a nun's rapist.

The epitome of the babyface (or, to use the British expression, blue-eye) Jesus was Jeffrey Hunter,  6' or 6'1"(depending on the source), 180#, in 1961's Hollywood epic King of Kings. I preferred him smooth-shaven or at most scruffy as John Wayne's "nephew" in The Searchers, but among the Hollywood Jesuses up to and including Jim Caviezel, the former captain of the Whitefish Bay High School football team was the most strapping.

Although I'm not as wildly a fan of Christian Bale as some of my gay and bi brothers, I have followed and greatly enjoyed his work over the years. This shot from a 1999 TV movie I never saw, never even knew existed, called Mary, Mother of Jesus, could easily pass for a photo in Wrestling Arsenal's always much appreciated "Suffering Sunday" series.

I'm pretty certain both the photographer and Tim Tebow knew just what they were implying with this pose. Pro football's most exhibitionist Christian not only exemplifies the all-eyes-on-me sanctimony of modern American evangelicalism but looks like he'd be terrific in a lucha-libre-style showdown against the devil in a steel cage. I'd pay to watch it, so long as I could mute the parts where he talks about his ideas on God, virginity, and marriage.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fuck Him Up

Braden Charron is now in his sixth month at Thunder's Arena. The fit couldn't be better for him and the Florida-based promotion: Braden sports brawn to match that of the Arena's best-built talent, knows exactly what fans are looking for, and performs with equal ease as babyface or heel. Brad Barnes, in his Arena debut in Mat Wars 34, looks like he could be Braden's kid brother, with matching military buzz cut and hard, well-defined chest, shoulders, arms, and thighs. The similarity between them is both unmistakable and irresistible to me. 

Despite online stats giving Brad almost a 30-pound advantage, it's Braden who appears the heavier and brawnier. He reclines next to Brad, resting on one elbow like a Playgirl foldout, as the new guy performs a set of crisp, textbook pushups. With quiet confidence, he teases the recruit, scorning Brad's pink-spotted "undies" and his pushups (for "little guys," Braden claims). "Let's stand up and start doing some real stuff," he urges.

The recruit takes charge early with a crushing side headlock designed to make Braden wear himself out in trying to escape from it. Brad's grip is near inescapable, and Braden huffs and flushes from the strain. The beautifully proportioned newcomer is supremely confident in his combat skills. But he seems somewhat less confident in his performance skills in front of a camera, looking to one side now and then as if seeking direction, but camera-shyness dwindles as the action heats up. Braden at last powers free of the headlock, heaves Brad roughly up on one shoulder, and drops him to the mat, straddling his waist and clawing the rookie's pecs. With a few slugs to the chest for punctuation, Braden stands, obviously expecting his opponent to stay put. 

But Brad is quick to his feet and traps Braden in a crushing chest-to-chest bear hug. Then, having all but snapped the man's spine, he casts Braden aside. Braden looks half-defeated already, shaking his head in amazement that he has so disastrously underestimated his opponent. After a second, equally prolonged bear hug, Braden is moaning on the mat and gasping for air. Brad dishes up more mat punishment and then finishes the cocky bodybuilder with a camel clutch.

Round 2 finds Braden determined not to be taken again. He seizes Brad in a full nelson, showing off the recruit's assets, namely his Michelangelesque torso, while at the same time testing its durability. Then, brimming again with over-confidence, he grips Brad between his powerhouse thighs, hoping to crush the newby to submission. But Brad has other plans. He nabs Braden in a headscissors reversal. The more Braden thrashes and writhes, the tighter Brad's thighs clamp his skull. At one point during the ordeal, we get a perplexing tight closeup of handsome Brad staring into the camera lens, as he smothers Braden under him. I say perplexing because it's hard to tell whether the shot asks us to share in Brad's moment of dominance or warns us never to cross this guy.

Both rounds together run 23 minutes, about normal for Arena releases. If, like me, you enjoy tight, prolonged body contact, you will find plenty to love here. The action is intense and strenuous throughout, and the bodies, almost perpetually locked together, are breathtaking. I should warn you, though, that Mat Wars 34 ends abruptly and anticlimactically. After Round 2, we get a title card promising to show us the rest of the match (presumably a third round) in a future release. Ordinarily, I might not have minded a two-round match, especially when, as here, each round is satisfying in and of itself, yet the chemistry between these two wrestlers is hot enough that I will, undoubtedly, want the sequel (well, apparently not so much a sequel or a rematch as the conclusion to the DVD I already bought), plus anything else Brad and Braden do next, together or against other wrestlers. I can't say for sure what motivated Thunder's to abort this match in this way. Aesthetically it doesn't work, but perhaps the motive is money--charge full price for reduced portions. Still, like a junkie I might, this once, shell out another $35 for more of this.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not Through With You Yet

For three weeks in the fall of 2006 Devon Driscoll was the Ohio Valley Wrestling Television Champion. The 6'4" (or 6'5", depending on the source) fitness trainer caught the WWE's eye the previous summer and set him up at OVW for training, back when it was a developmental promotion for WWE. He made an impression early on, as in this match against British bear-heel Paul Burchill. His short reign as TV champ precipitated his early retirement from pro wrestling in February 2007. A couple of years ago, Devin (the actual spelling of his name) launched his own promotion, Next Level Wrestling, in Knoxville.

His early match against Burchill (from the commentators' banter I gather Devon was making his television debut at this time) is a good example of one of the wrestling angles or plot points I particularly enjoy, in which a big brute, in this case Burchill, 6'4", 245#, has one or more clear shots at pinning his hapless opponent for an easy victory but insists on rolling the guy over or lifting his shoulders from the mat because he wants to drag out the jobber's painful demolition. It's a sadistic form of showing off, so naturally I'd be impressed. Often, the arrogance of such a strategy proves to be the heel's undoing because the underdog rallies and gives the bully the beatdown he so richly deserves. Just as often, though, as here, the heel gets in a few more humiliating licks--like a cat toying with its victim--to ensure that his finisher literally does finish the guy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Angle #20: Double Header

The problem with Anthony Nese is he looks the same in all his photos. The good news is he looks astonishing. The guy has the product consistency of a Big Mac but the distinctive succulence of a Porterhouse steak, sizzling steam and blood. On March 15th, the wrestler fought a scheduled match against Pro Wrestling Syndicate trainee Matt Vides. Matt put up a tougher fight than expected for a fledgling, yet unsurprisingly Tony prevailed in the end. But that battle was no sooner over than in marched PWS head trainer Pat Buck in tropicalia green trunks, demanding a piece of Nese for himself, probably banking on Tony's exhaustion after the previous bout. To judge by Scott Finkelstein's photos (above), the two seasoned pros spared no effort to demolish each other. The action escalated to a knee-to-knee slugfest, climaxing with a skull-cracking piledriver, as Nese finished Buck with a spectacular heels-over-forehead pin, Pat's face smothered under Tony's crotch. It doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Good Sport

Some shots of the action at the NCAA Division 1 competition last night in Des Moines, Iowa.

These photographs belong to photographer Austin Bernard, as noted, and Oklahoma Wrestling.


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